Bianca Semczuk is a third-year Psychology student, course representative for three years and a department representative for one year.
As well as being an international student, Bianca is the president of the mature students’ society.
Bianca has always enjoyed helping people, so the role of Wellbeing Officer is one she sees herself being a good fit for.
“I’ve always liked to help people and I’ve been a volunteer in many organisations, even before coming to the UK,” Semczuk says while discussing her volunteering for Red Cross Romania and ISAAC in Poland.
“I like listening to people, gathering feedback and seeing how I can help.”
Bianca considers the feedback of students incredibly important and believes that consulting students will be the first step of her initiatives.
“My main priority is the wellbeing of students, but all [of] my goals for my manifesto are equally important.
Bianca feels that PhD students are forgotten about within the current welfare structure and is committed to supporting them.
“I just want to give them the best experience at the University of Leicester and organise maybe social events or like support groups for them where they can feel free to discuss their needs.”
She is particularly proud about her involvement in creating a children friendly room on campus. This is a space where students can bring their children while they study, with facilities for breast-feeding and nappy changing. As a mother herself, Bianca is committed to seeing the project through.
“Other universities have it and it’s working quite well for them, and they feel cosy … so I’m trying to make that happen.”
Bianca’s love for gardening began during the first lockdown as a way of de-stressing. She plans to collaborate with the Plant & Gardening Society to create an allotment in Oadby where students can grow flowers, herbs and vegetables. She wants to make the wellbeing benefits of gardening more widely known.
Bianca is very aware of the level of commitment that university sports teams require and wants to help students manage this commitment.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to organise the time around events happening for the sport clubs and the assignments or the exams at university and the pressure might be too much sometimes.
Regarding disability sport, Bianca proposes to consult with students to understand what sports teams they would like to see.
“I think that sometimes [students] may feel that because I have a certain background or a certain disability, I might not be fitting in the Sports Clubs. So, I just want for students to feel like they are free to at least try.”
To further support disabled students, Bianca wants to collaborate with the disability officer to make campus buildings more accessible.
“I think we have to listen again to the actual needs of the people and see what else is needed and how I can help, and support and facilitate their wellbeing.”
Living on your own for the first time can be tough and Bianca is looking to make this transition easier for students by teaching life skills.
“We leave so much with our parents, we don’t know the costs that are involved like electricity or water, so then we would use a lot of water maybe or a lot of electricity without knowing.
Bianca is also committed to pushing the university to reduce rent costs for accommodation. This would be a first step, with the aim of discussing rent decreases for students with letting agencies and wider city organisations.
All candidate manifestos can be read here.
Vote on the SU website here. Voting closes at 12pm on Friday 11th March 2022.
This article is part of a series of articles covering the SU Executive Election. You can view all articles here.
Rebecca Dawson is a third-year Geography student at the University of Leicester. She is vice-captain at UOL Tennis and is interested in mental health, popular culture and current affairs.